3 Ways Hiring an External Project Manager Can Keep Projects on Track and On Budget

I received an email today from a client who was ready to blaze full speed ahead on a Market Research project. Originally, the entire engagement was to be fully outsourced to NAC, but given budget constraints and the nature of the engagement, he thought it best to manage most of the project tasks in house.  

During our last project meeting over two months ago, we reviewed the scaled back role we would play and discussed best practices on how his team could manage the tasks we were previously hired to handle.  The main action item at the conclusion of the meeting was to send the project communications to compliance for approval, with hopes of launching within a week. One week passed, then two. Fast forward to today. 

My response to his request to get started within 24 hours was, “Wow, that must have been some red tape!” I assumed the two-month delay was due to bureaucracy. Instead my client admitted - that was not the issue at all. It simply fell to the bottom of the priority scale, and other projects took precedence. However now the boss is ready for results, and he has less than 30 days to deliver.    

Just like my client, we all have the best intentions when we get started on a project, but new projects or unforeseen emergencies get in the way. Your work volume continues to grow while the hours in the day stay the same. 

And, just like in my client’s situation, what inevitably happens is things fall through the cracks. Or you have to rush your work, only to end up with mediocre results. Worse yet, projects end up going over budget, costing you and your customers revenue. 

That’s where a dedicated project manager not tied to internal distractions can step in and keep the ball rolling until you can jump back in the trenches.  

NAC is an expert project management and consulting company dedicated to handling all the crucial details of any marketing, research or support initiative.  

Here are three ways we can help save you time, money and headaches on your next project. 

Improve communication and project tracking

Active communication with your team and clients is essential to the success of any project. It’s also a must to have a formal project tracking system in place so that everyone involved can see where tasks stand at a glance. Using an online platform, NAC tracks every aspect of your project, including deliverables, expectations and deadlines. You’ll never wonder about the status of a project again. 

Improve planning

Have you planned out the scope of your project to every last detail? If not, you are probably going to lose valuable time and money along the way. This is also where the headaches come in. If you don’t anticipate all potential obstacles or delays on the front end, you will definitely pay for it on the back end with irritated team members and clients.   

NAC has 10 years of experience in project management. We’ve seen every possible way a project can get derailed, so we are able to put an agile plan in place that anticipates any roadblocks. We continually monitor the plan to make sure all the players are following the playbook. And we can change the plays if necessary, without any disruption to project flow. 

Streamline budgeting and scheduling processes

Budgets can easily spiral out of control due to the aforementioned lack of planning. This is even more likely on short-term projects than on ones that take place over longer periods of time. Scheduling is also a major challenge when there is a shorter turnaround on a job. Just like with overall planning, NAC is a master at schedule management. We’ve seen it all, so we know where to build in extra time or trim excess fat to get the job done on schedule and within budget.  

Whether it’s a marketing, research or support project, our approach is always the same. NAC maps out the scope of the project and desired outcomes, uses cloud-based collaboration tools to track tasks and progress, implements a strong, knowledgeable project team with a fanatical attention to detail, and develops a schedule with built-in flexibility that takes into consideration all the contingencies.  

Our proven methods will make sure your projects run smoothly from start to finish, ending with a profitable success!